Forum: Children with Developmental Delays and Disorders
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I teach h.s. biology. This year I have autistic brothers. The older brother is in my Higher Level IB biology class and is amazing. He is high functioning (even was in a group e.c. video). In my school days we would have just said he was a little weird nerd. His younger brother though is just the opposite. All of the classic signs that immediatly identify a kid with autisms....he has. Mom is inisting that he be in college prep classes. Here is my question....what would you do if the teacher diagreed? He memorizes really well and that accounts for him not failing my class BUT he cannot process. He can not take the information that he has memorized and apply it to a situation like a lab. He has an aide with him at all times but the mom wants the aide only to redirect self soothing behaviors (head banging, rubbing hands, muttering, parroting etc.). When the aide was doing that he was failing because he would not turn material in. His current aide constantly reminds him to get stuff out, to do the assignment etc.
Help! I know I am not his mom. But I feel that him being in my class is doing a diservice to him. The aide says that he is so stressed that by lunch he can't contain himself. Mom, I think, sees the success of the older son and wants that for the younger son. I understand this but I think this is not the way for him to have success. I think he needs a class that moves slower.....less stressful.
Assuming mom won't move him....anyone have any tips on how I can help him process the information better?
I'm sorry I'm pretty sure I can't help at all, my lil guy is just about 4 and honestly I love his teachers and I take their advice and opinions to heart, I know they have his best interests in mind. How are his communication skills? Have you been able to talk to him about whether he would be happier in an easier class? Would it be possible to have a conference with him and his mom together and have him express that to her with you agreeing?
Best of luck. You sound like a wonderful caring teacher, I hope my son continues to have teachers like you as he goes through school.
Crissy ♥ mama to Jack 7.16.01 ~ Mia Bella 10.29.02
Angus Pickle 2.24.04 ~ Sydney Bean 10.26.06 & Kater Tot 2.15.09
I don't know how much help I will be either as my dd is 5, but some thinggs immediately pop into my mind.
WHat does it say on his IEP? Do you know when the last time the school district did a psychological eval on him, including IQ testing? These are major keys (but not the only ones) in determining what type of setting a student should be in. I also would see where his social/communication skills stand (there is usually some part on the IEP that addresses social, and that will also help determine appropriate placement). Also, do you know what his learningg style is and if any sort of adaptive technology could be used to facilitate his learning? It may be possible to request an IEP meeting to discuss adaptive technology to help him learn.
I agree that you should personally speak to him and see how he feels. I wonder if he is also having trouble because he sees his brother performing so much better and he wants to be more like his brother (especially if mom is pushing this idea down his throat). The conference idea sounds really great too.
Good luck and don't ever stop caring. I am looking for teachers like you when my dd gets to HS
<div align="center">Thanks Alison's Mommy, SillyMama, Katarina and samylaine for my blinkies.</div>
Alissa, if I were you I'd talk to the mom about changing the aide's duties. If he has a good memory and can remember the info, and has the others to mimic his behavior from, then moving him to a slower class could do more damage than good. But if the aide is allowed to give him reminders of turning in work and what supplies he needs to get out then it can help him. He NEEDS to learn conceptual thinking and applying what he has learned. He can recall the info, but his brain just needs a different trigger to apply it. His aide could help with that with constant prompts. Also, AT equipment could help a lot too. Even though Brayden is only 2, and will start pre-k next year, I've already said I'd ok special needs pre-k but there's no way he's going special ed in school! How can they possible learn and understand with out exposure. There may also be biomedical resourses his parents can look into, diet changes, stressors avoided other than class, weighted clothing, sensory breaks.....things like that. If the teacher totally disagreed then I'd ask if I could observe him in class and afterwards to see if I could see any possible alternatives to him leaving the class. I wouldn't put him in special ed though at all though--slower paced is one thing but, here special ed is a dead pace. Perhaps extra study time at home, or extra worksheets to help him at home....at home lab work.....
This is a hard one as it seems mom is blocking the way because she has set unrealistic expectations on him because of his older brother. It could be that he functions higher at home than at school and that leads mom to believe he should be doing better than what he actually is doing? Maybe if she sat in on a few classes and observed she might have a better understanding of his needs. Maybe you could see if mom would be willing to have a meeting with you and the aide. I know alot of people want to pretend or try to make their autistic children normal but its really doing a disservice to a child if they are pushed beyond their capacity. I disagree about putting him in special ed. If he's not able to keep up in regular classes and they can't be modified to fit his needs, then he may do better in special ed and be happier there. This year is my dd's first full year in special ed. and although she's not back to school full day yet, it is a much better fit for her. Mainstreamed classes had her stressed way beyond her capacity. I also disagree with extra study time at home, especially if he's hardly able to contain himself by lunch time. Its too much for him and I wish I had answers for you. We've always been on the other end of things in trying to get the expectations for dd lowered a bit because she just couldn't keep up with the class due to her slow processing speed.....among other things.
Tammy, Mom to
Abby (19), Kacie (13), Chase (11), & Jacob (7)
"...They're supposed to make you miserable! That's why they're family!" ~ Bobby ~ Supernatural
Thanks to all the replied... I posted this within days of contacting mom and was told by the school admin that we were going to have a meeting before thanksgiving....and now a week later haven't heard back from mom or my admins. This week was nuts but I am going to bring is up again on monday....
I am probably not helping the cause because I am really modifying waaayyy to much and his grade is inflated due to that and I am wondering if mom is seeing the C and assuming he is doing better than he is.
A million things are running through my mind. Firstly, how does he handle even having a aide? Does it bother him? My 11 yr old son has one but he will not let her stand near him or work one on one with him at all because he is too embarrassed, the only way she can help him in class is in a group situation where she is helping the whole group.
I'd say no to special ed if it is like special ed here, because he won't learn what he needs to and his self esteem would take a battering (I've seen primary aged kids suicidal because they've been taken out of mainstream and put into special ed). It sounds like mum needs to be sat down and talked too, here a school counsellor would call her in and have a meeting going through all of the teachers concerns, behaviour history, and a resolution would be sorted out. To me with the little info I have the class itself is just to much for this boy, there would be a lot of other classes he could take that wouldn't be as challenging.
Stressing out an ASD kid like that is just not right, depression and anxiety is a major problem for our kids.
As a teacher, I'm not sure what you can do, either the aide needs to be allowed to help this boy more or he needs an easier class. Why does the mum have to much say about what the aide does anyway?